Aggregate dollar values suppressed for small geos

I'm looking at table B19067, "AGGREGATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INCOME IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (IN 2015 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS) FOR HOUSEHOLDS". Looking at block groups, last year, for the 2010-2014 ACS, there were 131,952 block groups with data (the rest being suppressed). This year, 2011-2015 ACS, only 36,781 block groups have data. Almost a hundred thousand block groups that had data last year are suppressed this year.

ACS documentation this year mentions that dollar amount medians and quintile limits are being suppressed where the margin of error is greater than the estimate: http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/user-notes/2016-01.html. However, this document specifically states that aggregate values are still available. I'm specifically seeing block groups with margins of error greater than their estimates (see Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Block Group 2, Census Tract 3; estimate 564,300, MOE +/-603,472; http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/15_5YR/B19067/0500000US42101.15000).

I see a similar pattern with census tracts.

Anyone know what's going on here?

  • Hello Bernie,

    I have consulted with some folks here at Census and because of data quality, B19067 is not available for small geographies such as block groups. If you have any further questions related to this please feel free to contact us directly via email at < acso.data.user@census.gov >.

    Have a good one,

    Justin

  • In reply to Justin Keller:

    Hi Justin, thanks for your help; it's really great having someone from Census answering questions here. B19067 is available for block groups; you can see at factfinder.census.gov/.../0500000US42101.15000. Unlike some indicators which are explicitly suppressed at the block group level, these are available for some block groups but not others. Should it have been suppressed entirely at the block group level?

    (Also, I tried sending this follow-up to the e-mail address you provided, but it got bounced back.)

    Thanks,
    Bernie
  • In reply to Bernie:

    Hello Again,

    My apologies as I posted the wrong email. Try this one: acso.data.user.comments@census.gov

    And while we do try our best to monitor the board for questions, the best way to ensure an answer is to contact the Census Bureau directly.

    Justin